Chakra exploration: Part I

In the Hatha Yoga tradition originating in India, our life-force energy is known as prana while in Chinese medicine, qigong and tai chi it’s chi (qi). Reiki practitioners call it ki and in Hawaiian spiritual practice it’s mana.

This vital life force connects our physical and energy bodies and is transported by means of chakras, translated as “wheels” or “discs”. Chakras are the spinning centres, often referred to as vortexes (or vortices) of energy, aligned vertically along the length of the spinal cord from the base of the spine to the crown of the head.

In this two-part series we will be exploring the seven-chakra system. For the first installment we look at the lower three chakras.

Overview of the lower chakras

This overview and the suggested practices focus on the lower three chakras — muladhara, svadhisthana and manipura — which are considered your physical chakras, responsible for your self-image and physical and emotional identity together with your relationship to the physical world. The lower three chakras connect, through your heart chakra, to the upper three, which are regarded as your spiritual centres. The upper three chakras will be discussed in a followup article.

First chakra/root chakra

The root chakra, often referred

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